Friday, August 7, 2015

What You Didn't Know About Sno-Isle Libraries So You Didn't Know to Ask! Part 3

Part 3, The Making of a New Library
The residents of Camano Island had a dream: they wanted a library of their own. They could, of course, continue using the Stanwood  Library, but what they longed for was something in their own neighborhood. In 2007 they opened a little library in an empty storefront at Terry's Corner, an 1,800 square foot space with 6,000 items available to check out. They called it a pilot project, a chance to test the waters. Could they entice enough islanders to join them in their vision?

The Pilot Project

Inside the temporary Camano Island Library

Inside the temporary Camano Island Library

It took seven years (much longer than they had expected) and two attempts at a levy vote to see their dreams fulfilled. The project required the involvement of local government, Sno-Isle board members, Camano Island Friends of the Library, and the community at large. Their combined efforts resulted in the necessary funding, planning and renovating of a vacant restaurant a few doors from the pilot library; the selection of items for the library's collection (now more than 18,000 books, movies and other media); and the myriad other details required for such a mammoth undertaking.

Finishing up the renovation just days before the Grand Opening

On August 1, 2015, at the Grand Opening of Sno-Isle's Camano Island Library, an estimated crowd of 200 gathered to hear speeches and watch the ribbon cutting as they celebrated the passion and hard work of the many people who made this dream a reality. Excitement ran high. And when the doors opened and the people streamed in, they were not disappointed.


Jonalyn Wolf-Ivory, Sno-Isle's Administrative Director, speaking to the crowd

Ribbon cutting (Photo from Sno-Isle website)

Come on in! (Photo from Sno-Isle website)

Everything in the library was brand new, even the books! As I was looking around a friend called out my name and held up a cookbook. "Look," she said, "I'm the first one to ever check out this book!" Two days later she told me that she'd already tried out a recipe from its pages.

Brand new books

What impressed me the most about the new Camano Island library was the light. It streamed through the huge windows, filtered through the stained glass window that was in the original design of the building, and was enhanced by the muted colors and green design of the space. 

Camano Island Library is light, airy, and open 

This lovely window is white/orange from the inside and
blue/maroon from the outside!

You'll find several designated rooms or areas throughout the new library, places for kids (both children and teens have their own spot),  an inviting reading room—complete with a fireplace—to sit and read, and a community room, where groups can meet to discuss books, plan projects, and hold community meetings and events. Friends of the Library, an integral part of making the Camano Island Library a reality, also has a prominent location for displaying their books on sale.

Holds shelves and check-out desks

Teen area with computers, table to gather, and lots of material for teens

Reading Room

Featured books on the Reading Room shelves

Sno-Isle Libraries feature more than books, music, and other media. Enter any of the twenty-one  Sno-Isle libraries and you will find art by Northwest artists. Camano Island Library's first piece of public art, a two-piece basalt sculpture of an eagle perched on a pillar, alight a book, with a cared out basin bowl standing beside it, was the creation of Josh Henrie. The basin, which is intended to collect water, represents the ocean and the tide pools surrounding the island. And what could be a more fitting motif for Camano Island and its residents than an eagle, the water, and a good book?

Public art outside the new Camano Island Library (Photo courtesy of Sno-Isle Libraries)

A close-up of Josh Henrie's beautiful eagle and book (Photo courtesy of Sno-Isle Libraries)

If you missed Part 1 of this series, They Don't Have the Book I Want!, and Part 2, Getting My Book to Me, be sure to check them out. And you can join in the Camano Island Library Grand Opening, even if you didn't attend, by watching this celebration video.


Joan Husby said...

What a grand use for that interesting building! We watched the renovation from the outside but missed the opening. Thanks for the overview!

Ginger Kauffman said...

Joan, I know you'd like this beautiful library. I'm thinking that, with all the large windows, folks will really enjoy a good rain storm from INSIDE the library, especially if it's cool enough to warrant using the fireplace. Sounds cozy, doesn't it!